African Barrick Gold (ABG) - Cheapest London Major

Mar 31, 2011, 04:44 ET from Edison Investment Research

LONDON, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

- Research Report from Edison Investment Research

African Barrick Gold (ABG) was listed on the London market in its own right on 19 March 2010 at a price of 575p. Notwithstanding two production/profits warnings on account of issues associated with the processing of transitional ore and the discovery of an organised fuel theft syndicate (both at Buzwagi), ABG's actual FY10 price-earnings ratio of 16.7x was at a 48% discount to the 32.0x average historic P/E ratio of the NYSE Arca Gold BUGS index in 2010. Since then it has underperformed the gold price in US dollar terms (in common with other majors), such that it now trades at a risk-adjusted discount to its peers.

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On the basis of Edison's earnings expectations to FY14 (excluding growth projects), ABG is consistently cheap relative to Randgold Resources. To the extent that it is expensive relative to Petropavlovsk, its premium valuation is small by FY14, when its EV/EBITDA ratio is 5.3x (vs 4.3x for POG). Given that ABG has zero commissioning risk inherent within this analysis and only relatively minor mine life extension risk at Tulawaka, we conclude that, on a risk-adjusted basis, ABG offers the best value for investors in the London gold sector. Considered alternatively, ABG only has to produce an additional 163,478oz of gold in FY14 at the same average cost of production as the rest of its output to render it, definitively, the cheapest London gold major.

African Barrick Gold was historically the Tanzanian gold mining business of Barrick and is one of Africa's five largest gold producers with output from four mines, namely Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi, North Mara and Tulawaka.

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